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Digital Realty Data Centers Leverage IBM ESG Software for Carbon Monitoring, Reduction Strategy

July 18, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

Digital Realty will leverage IBM Envizi ESG software suite to gather and manage sustainability data across more than 300 data centers worldwide, the two companies disclosed today.

The relationship is part of Digital Realty's global 2030 goal to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 68%, and Scope 3 emissions by 24%. The data center and co-location provider set those carbon reduction goals in 2020 with the Science-Based Target initiative (SBTi).

Digital Realty is pursuing those carbon reduction goals even as the data center provider grows its business. Indeed, revenues were $1.3 billion in Q1 of 2023, up 19% from the corresponding quarter last year. The company is expected to announce Q2 2023 financial results on July 27.

Aaron Binkley, VP of sustainability, Digital Realty

Signs of Digital Realty's progress on the sustainability front have already emerged. As of April 2023:

  • More than 100 Digital Realty data centers are carbon neutral for Scope 2; and
  • a dozen data centers in Europe have achieved carbon neutrality for Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

Still, Sustainable Tech partner doesn't know whether Digital Realty has set an overall timeframe for achieving net-zero carbon emissions.

ESG Software for Data Center Carbon Monitoring: Executive Perspectives

In a prepared statement about the IBM relationship, Digital Realty VP of Sustainability Aaron Binkley (pictured, top of page) said: "By leveraging the capabilities of IBM Envizi, we will transform our ability to collect, analyze and report on our ESG performance across our global data center portfolio. It will help track and manage our environmental performance, while enabling us to better meet the sustainability needs of our customers and other stakeholders."

Christina Shim, VP and global head of product management and strategy, IBM Sustainability Software

Added Christina Shim, VP and global head of product management and strategy for IBM Sustainability Software: "Organizations globally are simply buried in a massive amount of ESG-related data—from operations, sensors on factory floors, and more. But it is often siloed across databases, spreadsheets, and business units. The IBM Envizi ESG Suite helps our clients, like Digital Realty, gain insights from data to fuel smarter, more sustainable decisions every day."

Related: See IBM's overall sustainability strategy here.

Meanwhile, numerous service providers and companies are pursing carbon-neutral data center goals. But the results worldwide are mixed. For instance, 80% of organizations said that their data center carbon footprint had either stayed the same or increased in the past two years, according to Hitachi Vantana research.

Net Zero Cloud Goals; Regional Data Centers Embrace Renewable Energy

In the public cloud service providers (CSPs), well-known giants have publicly shared their net-zero carbon emissions goals. For instance:

Regional data center providers are also making moves. A few examples:

Amid all of those competitive moves, Digital Realty continues to march toward its various Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 goals for 2030. The company believes IBM's software will ease the march toward those goals.

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